After the usurious fees they charge for baggage (and in some cases, carry-ons), the biggest cash grab by the airline industry is the charges levied for the privilege of choosing your seat. And the better the seat (exit row, closer to the front, upgraded legroom), the more you pay.
It appears that the concert industry has finally figured this out.
Live Nation is experimenting with offering aisle seats at selected shows–Ticketmaster is calling them “premium aisle seats”–promising fans a chance to “enjoy the convenience of easy access to refreshments, restrooms, and venue exits.” (I’m told that this practice has already been in place in some venues for a least a year.)
The current experiment involves surcharges of $5 to $30 per seat. Depending on the act and the venue, this could had tens of thousands of dollars to box office revenue of a show. Multiply that over the course of an entire tour and you’re looking at a million or more in gross profits.
A couple of thoughts:
- Would you want to be an usher at one of these events where you now have to police everyone sitting at the end of a row?
- Won’t this just inflate prices on the secondary market even more? SPOILER: Yes.
- Will all artists go for this? Probably not at the beginning, but given the amount of money to be made…
Read more at Billboard.